Since moving to Switzerland, we have spent less time in the car than ever before. He takes the tram to work. I take a combination of trams, busses and boats to get around. On the weekends, more times than not, we have been on a cable car of some sort. There are several different kinds of cable-operated devices. They include:
- Téléphérique, an aerial tramway or gondola that consists of a cabin suspended from a cable. We take them to get to the slopes from where we parked, up the slopes (we were extremely grateful for the enclosure during the cold snap), and even in between mountains!
- Chairlifts where open chairs are hauled above the ground by means of a cable.
One of the things that we love about Switzerland is that the mountains are so accessible. It takes only an hour or two to get from a major city like Geneva onto a remote mountain. Part of the reason the country is so accessible is its outstanding infrastructure. The Swiss try to take advantage of all of their land…and do a pretty good job of it. They build highways, tunnels and cable cars everywhere. There are over 130 cable cars in Switzerland. For that matter, the French at Mt. Blanc and the ski resorts in the French Alps do a pretty good job too.
When we first moved here, I was always uneasy in cable cars. I kept of when the American pilot clipped the line of the cable car in Cavalese, Italy in 1998, killing 20. I’d heard stories of cable cars falling in France and Italy in the 1980’s.
When I get on a plane, I remind myself that it is safer than driving. Although I don’t have any stats, cable cars must also be. Now, we have taken them so many times, that I don’t think about it any more than getting on a bus. Besides, they have better views than most busses. Just don’t look down.